How did I reduce my hypertension by using natural methods?

In this post, I outline the main things that I did to reduce my hypertension to normal levels using natural methods.

I did so out of necessity and, as the saying goes, necessity is the mother of invention.


Abraham Lincoln said:

If I am given six hours to chop down a tree, I would spend the first four hours sharpening the axe.

That is what I did. I did my research. Initially it was to find the local pharmacies and then to visit them to see if they stocked my medications and, if not, to ascertain whether they would stock it. That drew a negative, so that line on research was closed.

Next, I did extensive online research to get more information on the dietary and lifestyle changes that may be required. I don’t smoke, so there wasn’t any need to waste time on that. Nor did I need to do much about my alcohol consumption as it was well within the guidelines.

That left exercise, diet and relaxation.


Most of our journeys were short, so we walked or cycled unless we had a load to transport. On most days I also lent a helping hand on the family farm for a couple of hours starting at the crack of dawn.

There was also something deeply relaxing about being on the farm in the fresh dawn air and seeing the mist rolling down the nearby wooded hills.

The exercise box was ticked.


Diet was where I had to be creative. All of our food was fresh. There was no supermarket within 30 km and the nearest 7 Eleven convenience store was 15km away. If we did not grow it ourselves, we bought it at the local market or from a farmer, or picked it from the wild.

There was an abundance of fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices available locally. We had banana plants in the garden as well as on the farm. Although the cash crop was cassava, we also grew a variety of fruits, herbs and vegetables. We bought rice from the sister-in-law’s rice mill. Fresh pork, chicken and fish were also available.

I had been prescribed an ACE inhibitor by my doctor. I learnt from my research that bananas contain an ACE inhibitor as does garlic. I had an abundant supply of both.

I made smoothies using two medium sized bananas and a pot of youghurt purchased from the local shop. I had this nearly every day. If I felt hungry between meals, I had a banana.

Garlic, both cooked and raw was an integral part of the local cuisine or was served as a garnish. I ensured that I consumed four cloves of raw garlic on most days.

Other than the yoghurt I mentioned, the only dairy poduct available locally was fresh eggs. Green tea was available from the local shop, so I made green tea with ginger. Roselle, part of the hibiscus family, was also available either as dried flowers or sold as a readymade drink. The latter was usually heavily sweetened, but I had it without sugar – much to the bemusement of the vendor. Green tea is rich in caffeine, which is a natural diuretic and roselle (unsweetened) is also a mild diuretic.

The local cuisine used a lot of chilli – cooked, and raw as a condiment. We grew chillies on the farm. A study of 606 Chinese adults found that those who prefer spicy food consumed less sodium and had lower blood pressures than their mild-palate counterparts.

Because of the heat, it was necessary to drink plenty of bottled water each day to keep hydrated.

The time working on the farm and doing other outdoor activities ensured that I had sufficient vitamin D, which helps to control blood pressure.

There I had the dietary foundation to replace the hypertension medication prescribed by my doctor. Having a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables ensured I got all the necessary nutrients and together they ticked the diet box. That left …


In the heat of the day, the Spanish take a siesta. As in Spain, from about 11am to 4pm it was too hot for me to do any work. Most of the locals also took a siesta at this time. I found a shady spot that had a gentle breeze in which to put my reclining chair and chilled out reading a book on my Kindle or just emptying my mind of any thoughts – or at least trying to.

I also used breathing exercises, and still do.

Massage was an important part of the local culture that not only had physiological benefits, but also mental health benefits arising from the state of deep relaxation that it could engender. I found that having a massage at least once a month was very beneficial and helped to maintain my lowered blood pressure.

The relaxation box was ticked.

What else did I do?

I monitored my blood pressure twice a day at the same time and under the same conditions and kept a record of the results. I did this for 14 days initially, and then for seven days every month. I still do it to this day, albeit the interval is now two months.

There are always ups and downs in life but, importantly, I was happy.

The result

A combination of necessity and locally available resources enabled me to reduce my hypertension to normal levels using natural methods that included diet, exercise and relaxation.

The blog

The other posts on this blog describe the results of the research I did and talk about the benefits of various foods and exercises for reducing hypertension by natural methods.


Posted in Diet and hypertension, exercise and high blood pressure, exercise and hypertension, Lower high blood pressure, Lower high blood pressure naturally, Reduce hypertension, Reduce hypertension naturally | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Garlic can lower high blood pressure

Garlic can lower high blood pressure.

Garlic has been used in folk medicine for millenia for its health benefits as well as an antiseptic. The Ancient Greeks and Romans also used garlic as an aid to strength and endurance and was fed to their soldiers and sailors. Garlic was even given to the original olympic athletes in Greece, as perhaps one of the earliest “performance enhancing” agents.

Cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack and stroke are responsible for more deaths than almost any other condition 1. High blood pressure (hypertension) is one of the most important factors that may lead to these events.

Human studies have found garlic supplements to have a significant impact on reducing blood pressure in people with hypertension 2 3.

How effective is garlic at lowering high blood pressure?

In one study on the effects of garlic on systolic and diastolic blood pressure in patients with essential hypertension, doses of between 600–1,500 mg of aged garlic extract were found to be just as effective as the drug Atenolol at reducing blood pressure over a 24-week period 4. Atenolol is a beta blocker medicine, used to treat hypertension and irregular heartbeats (arrhythmia).

A review and meta-analysis by Karin Ried 3, published in 2019, found that garlic lowers blood pressure in hypertensive subjects, improves arterial stiffness and gut microbiota. Karin’s meta-analysis of 12 trials and 553 hypertensive participants confirmed that garlic supplements lower systolic blood pressure by an average of 8.3 ± 1.9 mmHg and diastolic blood pressure by 5.5 ± 1.9 mmHg, similarly to standard anti-hypertensive medications.

Furthermore, this reduction in blood pressure was associated with a 16-40% reduction in the risk of suffering from cardiovascular events.

Karin’s findings are supported by a study by Toshiaki Matsutomo, published in 2020 5.

How does garlic lower high blood pressure?

Allicin is a major active ingredient in garlic supplementation as it has been reported to exert angiotensin II-inhibiting and vasodilating effects. In addition to allicin, γ-glutamyl-S-allylcysteine (GSAC) may contribute to the effects by inhibiting the angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) and inducing endothelium-dependent and -independent relaxation 5.

Put another way, the active ingredients in garlic act as an ACE inhibitor and a vascular relaxant.

How much garlic should you eat?

There’s no official recommended dosage for garlic. Most studies have found that around 1–2 cloves per day could be beneficial. However, a report in the Times of India recommends eating four cloves of raw garlic daily to “cure” hypertension 6 7.

It should be noted that garlic cloves vary in size, which will affect the amount of allicin they contain.

Raw garlic also contains more allicin, which is the sulfur-containing compound responsible for many of garlic’s beneficial health effects, than cooked garlic. So, you will need to eat more cooked garlic to consume the same amount of allicin.

In supplement form, doses of up to 3,600 mg of aged garlic extract have also been shown to be effective 8.

Medical caveat

Raw garlic has anticoagulent properties. While enjoying raw garlic in moderation is unlikely to cause any issues for most healthy adults, people taking blood thinners should check with their doctor before consuming large amounts of garlic or using a garlic supplement.

See medical caveat page for more information


If you are trying to lower your blood pressure to normal levels using natural methods, eating up to four cloves of raw garlic a day or taking a good quality garlic supplement can help you achieve your goal.


2. Sobenin IA, Andrianova IV, Demidova ON, Gorchakova T, Orekhov AN. Lipid-lowering effects of time-released garlic powder tablets in double-blinded placebo-controlled randomized study. J Atheroscler Thromb. 2008 Dec;15(6):334-8. doi: 10.5551/jat.e550. Epub 2008 Dec 6. PMID: 19060427.
3. Ried K. Garlic lowers blood pressure in hypertensive subjects, improves arterial stiffness and gut microbiota: A review and meta-analysis. Exp Ther Med. 2020 Feb;19(2):1472-1478. doi: 10.3892/etm.2019.8374. Epub 2019 Dec 27. PMID: 32010325; PMCID: PMC6966103.
4. Ashraf R, Khan RA, Ashraf I, Qureshi AA. Effects of Allium sativum (garlic) on systolic and diastolic blood pressure in patients with essential hypertension. Pak J Pharm Sci. 2013 Sep;26(5):859-63. PMID: 24035939.
5. Matsutomo T. Potential benefits of garlic and other dietary supplements for the management of hypertension. Exp Ther Med. 2020 Feb;19(2):1479-1484. doi: 10.3892/etm.2019.8375. Epub 2019 Dec 27. PMID: 32010326; PMCID: PMC6966105.
6. There is no cure for hypertension. It is not a disease; it is a symptom of what is happening inside our body.
8. Benefit of Garlic Based on Human Intervention Studies: A Brief Overview. Antioxidants (Basel). 2020 Jul 15;9(7):619. doi: 10.3390/antiox9070619. PMID: 32679751; PMCID: PMC7402177.
Posted in Diet and hypertension, Lower high blood pressure, Lower high blood pressure naturally, Reduce hypertension, Reduce hypertension naturally, Relaxation and hypertension | Tagged , , | Leave a comment